Seen at the Capitol

CA media finds de Leon guilty of not being Steinberg

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

There has been steady turnover in the leadership of the state Assembly every few years, so there is plenty of evidence that most new speakers get the equivalent of a honeymoon. Certainly that's been true of current Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and the two Los Angeles Democrats who preceded her,...

Backdrop to CalPERS’ many debacles: Agency thinks it’s great

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The giant California Public Employees' Retirement System, as one might suspect from its massive and self-important Sacramento headquarters, thinks it is the bomb -- a flawless organization that should inspire awe in onlookers. Yes, of course, the phenomenon of government agency leaders and their ...

Sacramento pack somehow perceives well-run state government

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Happy Fourth, everyone! In January 2008. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he backed state lawmakers' push to revise strict term limits for a specific reason. In response to a question I asked him at an editorial board meeting, Arnold said he thought Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and Senate...

Dem strategist (albeit a paid one) rips Nanny State push

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

A classic Nanny State bill failed in committee Tuesday within hours after a leading Democratic strategist warned California lawmakers that they shouldn't count on flattering headlines if it kept advancing. Details on the bill's demise from the LAT: "A proposal to affix health warning labels to s...

Tim Donnelly is no Tom McClintock. He’s the village idiot.

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

I understand why my CWD colleague and friend John Seiler sees the Neel Kashkari vs. Tim Donnelly fight through the prism of past fights between relatively liberal establishment GOP types and some conservative grassroots candidates. The idea that a 2008 Obama voter has the enthusiastic support of ...

Why is CalSTRS’ version of corporate skulduggery tolerated?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Beginning in the late 1990s and for about a decade afterward, corporate accounting scandals unfolded one after the other. Bipartisan outrage over CEOs and CFOs cooking the books gave way to mostly Democratic initiatives to impose much more sweeping rules on the private sector. Some Republicans thoug...

Spendaholics Anonymous?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

State legislators are pledging they won't spend all the windfall of new revenue produced by the economic recovery and the Proposition 7 tax increase. AP reported: State lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday for the second half of their two-year session, one that is expected to be marked ...

Will Kamala Harris monkey-wrench CA pension reform — again?

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

I've been following California politics obsessively since 1990, and I simply have never seen an editorial like the Los Angeles Times' piece Friday exhorting Attorney General Kamala Harris to do an ethical and honest job in preparing a ballot statement for a 2014 pension-reform initiative. Remember,...

Trial lawyers’ front group continues to get helping hand from media

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Consumer Watchdog's name should be Trial Lawyers' Helper. The organization aggressively works on many fronts to increase the ease with which trial lawyers can take money from people. If it is indeed a "consumer watchdog," than it would be transparent about its operations. It isn't. As Steve Maviglio...

Gov. Brown says one would ‘think’ Dems for disadvantaged

Monday, May 20th, 2013

May 20. 2103 By Chris Reed On Friday, I noted that the state budget scrum always involved a series of hardball power plays that exposed as fiction the idea that the California Democratic Party and the most powerful forces on the state's political left stood for "social justice." The trigger for t...